There was a time when the name James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland was synonymous with Must-See-TV! The all action brawler was a guaranteed treat to boxing fanatics and casual sports fans alike. The obsession with knockouts made Kirkland a hot commodity for networks.
For a prolonged stretch dating back to the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, Kirkland (32-2 28KO’s) was steamrolling the competition. Solid professionals such as Joel Julio and Brian Vera succumbed to his power. His instant classic with fellow brawler Alfredo Angulo delivered fireworks matched only by Fourth of July Independence Day night shows! The first round in that fight is UNBELIEVABLE! Take a look.
People forget his bout against Saul Canelo Alvarez did wonders in removing the bitter taste left by what was perceived a let down a week following the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight. Granted, he was on the wrong end of a vicious knockout by the red headed ginger Superstar! It still was enough for the mainstream media to talk boxing again.
The Canelo fight, in May 2015, was the last time Kirkland graced the squared circle. A bout with Miguel Cotto in 2017 was scratched due to a Kirkland injury. (Was personally disappointed as the fight was scheduled here in Dallas, TX!) Couple that with legal issues and internal problems with his own camp stalled a promising career.
If all goes according to plan, the now 35-year-old James Kirkland will end an over four-year hiatus Saturday August 24th at the Frank Erwin Center in his native Austin, TX. Serving as a “Special Bout” in support to the Eddie Ortiz vs Jas Phipps Main Event WBC UNSBC Middleweight title bout. We can confirm Kirkland is reunited with trainer Ann Wolfe. To this day he remains undefeated when the former women’s champ (some say the greatest woman fighter ever) is in his corner. If the bout does take place, team Kirkland will battle journeyman Colby Courter (13-14 10KOs) from Missouri in a six-round duel.
LongLiveBoxing will be in attendance to cheer on James Kirkland! The man has blessed us with many great boxing memories. The only concern, like any comebacks, is how the time off was spent. Even when active Kirkland didn’t necessarily have the greatest defense. If Kirkland is right in-between the ears, then by all means fight on. We’ve witnessed far too many tragedies in the ring this year. We don’t want another any time soon. Hope you trained well Mandingo Warrior!!
Tickets for “Capital City Fight Night”, brought to you by Underwood Promotions, can be purchased at texasboxoffice.com. Bouts will broadcast live on KBVO. Doors open at 6pm, first fight at 7pm.
Article Written by:
Manuel “Hopper” Dominguez